This letter was recently received from Benin City, Nigeria, and reveals the effect that the so-called prosperity gospel is having in that area.
We thank you for your encouragement of books and one of such is the prosperity gospel book Prosperity?, which has proven to be very useful to us and the ministry. It has opened our eyes to Bible truth on the false teaching of the prosperity gospel, so that we do not be part of it as this gospel has impoverished souls and our nations.
There is absolutely no debate that God’s Word has plenty of promises to bless His children in this life, and that God blesses a person who is a giver and a ‘liberal soul’. Lk. 6:38, Mal. 3:10, etc.
There is a case where one of these ‘prophets’ of prosperity came and spoke where he told the audience that God spoke to him that whoever would give the biggest gift they could possibly give, God, in effect, would make them a millionaire. A woman in the audience went and took the savings out of her joint savings account she had with her husband. She gave their life savings built up over many years to the prophet. She didn’t become a millionaire like ‘the prophet’ said. In fact she got no return. When her husband discovered what she had done, he divorced her. The woman backslid and lost her faith in God. This is one case to show how this ‘gospe’l has impoverished the people and the nation.
But, among these preachers, the gospel of success has taken the place of the heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ regarding Salvation and Godly living. Your Prosperity? book made us see that this gospel targets the poor, the struggling, the desperate and the greedy, and that it uses scriptures but perverts them and looks at all scriptures through the coloured glasses of money.
This ‘gospel’ is exploiting God’s people financially. To many unscrupulous preachers, this Gospel of Money has turned into a game, with God’s people being the prey. Exodus 20:17. One of the 10 Commandments is ‘Thou shalt not covet…’ but many ‘preachers’ are stirring up covetousness and greed among God’s people which is shipwrecking the faith of millions.
Today, there is little preaching about Jesus, salvation, sin, the cross, heaven or hell. Most preaching today is about how to be successful or get rich by ‘sowing your seed’ and must be rejected.
The book referred to in this letter is ‘Prosperity?- Seeking the True Gospel‘. It is written by three African pastors and includes appendices by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. CBW regularly includes copies of this book in packages sent to areas of the world where the prosperity gospel is prominent.